MTN Uganda appointed Andrew Bugembe as the company’s new Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Bugembe started work on April 1, replacing Mike Blackburn who retired early this year having served as the Telecom’s CFO since 2011. In his position, Mr Bugembe is part of the dynamic leadership team of MTN Uganda that boasts of 16 members, four of whom are women.
After being away from Uganda for almost 10 years, Mr Bugembe is happy to join a great, experienced and strong management team back home at MTN Uganda. He looks forward to leading the Finance division and contributing to MTN Uganda’s future success as the country embarks on this thrilling Digital journey that the telecom is committed to deliver.
Mr. Bugembe brings to his position, more than 21 Years of Telecom experience from various countries, working at MTN in different capacities, holding executive and senior management roles in finance departments, including holding the CFO position at MTN Liberia and MTN Congo Brazzaville.
Mr. Bugembe’s robust career at MTN has seen him serve in five different countries. Some of the key highlights of his career at MTN include concluding a $300m syndicated medium term facility, in a Project Finance deal that won an award for the best telecoms deal in Europe Middle East and Africa (EMEA) in 2012.
Although he takes over office at a difficult time when many company revenues are getting slashed by the global Covid19 pandemic, the seasoned accountant is no stranger to operating amidst disasters like this one.
He spent a lot of time resizing the cost structures for a couple of MTN OPCOs to align with changing macro-economic trends especially during the Ebola crisis in West Africa and the drop in oil prices while in Central Africa.
As CFO of the country’s highest tax payer, Mr Bugembe’s key roles will be to drive the company profitability mandate, to ensure effective and efficient Capital allocation, and to support Service revenue growth through data analytics with focus on non-voice revenues. He will also support key transformation initiatives, build internal capacity, support digitization with focus on FinTech in addition to continuous cost optimization and improving working capital management among others.
According to Mr Bugembe, there’s still opportunity for telecoms in Uganda, given that the mobile penetration is barely over 51%. The data penetration is still low driven mainly by lower smart phone penetration, customer education and relevant digital content. This will be key for future growth of telecom in Uganda. He also notes that Uganda’s youthful market coupled with the many SMEs, steady GDP growth and low inflation is a great opportunity for any business.
With the telecom trends indicating the customers’ needs are changing towards data, Fintech (Mobile Money) and digital, Mr Bugembe believe these will drive the future of telecoms especially in Uganda with emphasis on financial inclusion as the country moves towards a cashless economy.
In addition to the 21 years of telecom experience, Mr Bugembe is a chartered accountant (FCCA-UK) with a Masters degree from University of Wollongong in Australia and he hold a Bachelors of Commerce Degree from India.
Mr Bugembe describes himself as a passionate, curious and adaptive person, having lived, studied and worked in seven countries. He enjoys travelling to different countries to explore various cultures and have time to himself and his family away from work. He is married with two amazing sons aged 11 and 8 years. Outside work, he will be found reading books or a couple of journals. He is a huge fan of the Mercedes-Benz team in Formula 1 and a loyal Arsenal supporter.